JENNINGS, La. (KPLC) - Despite starting the season 0-3, Jennings always had the belief that it would be able to catch fire late in the year. The Bulldogs are back in the semifinals for the second time in three years as the lowest seed remaining in the state.
“Starting off the season was a little rough but I knew we had it in us,” Jennings linebacker Jacob Cooper said. “We never dropped our heads and knew that we had the potential so it’s not really a surprise but I’m glad we made it this far.”
For the third consecutive week, the Dogs did what most deemed to be impossible by taking down yet another top-ten team in Sterlington, last year's Class 3A runner-up. It took a late stop on a two-point conversion for the Bulldogs to escape with the win and live to play another week.
“That’s probably the best game I’ve ever played in my life, that game was pretty hype," Jennings safety CJ Willridge admitted. "Seeing them get that stop on that two point conversion was a terrific feeling, oh my God.”
“There’s no quit in us, we can take it all four quarters,” said Cooper. “We could’ve pulled away at one point but we started letting up a little bit. We made sure when it came down to it that we were going to make the stop.”
After back-to-back home games, Jennings will hit the road to New Orleans for semifinal bout with another top-ten opponent in six seed McDonogh 35, a team that also struggled to an 0-3 start. The Roneagles possess a stout defense and will test Jennings with their athleticism as they're led in the backfield by Steveland Williams Jr.
"They’re a power running football team and very athletic,” Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps said of the Roneagles. “They have a tailback who is a hard-nosed runner, they use the old fullback and tailback combo.”
“They have some good defensive players for sure but what they’re really strong in is their coaching and how they’re able to make adjustments that we have to be able to work with,” Cooper said of the Roneagles.
Jennings run this postseason has been impressive, but this group of Dogs can't look too far ahead if they want to make their first trip to the Dome in 27 seasons.
He (Phelps) just wants us to play our best every chance we get to play on the field," Willridge said. "He tells us the same thing, you have to win this one before you can win the next one.”